Officials responsible for the rehabilitation of Boracay have said they need more time after floods caused by storm Danas (Falcon) overwhelmed the island.
Pictures of Boracay’s main street knee-deep in water have been going viral online since the floods rose yesterday (Tuesday, July 17).
The images have led to widespread suggestions that last year’s six-month shutdown for “environmental rehabilitation” was a failed effort.
However, Natividad Bernardino, the general manager of the Boracay Interagency Rehabilitation Management Group, said flooding was likely to continue as the island’s drainage system was still being repaired.
She said that these measures included the building of temporary canals to divert any floodwater swiftly to the sea.
Tropical storm Danas caused parts of Balabag and Yapak villages to become impassable. The waters rose as high as three feet in some areas and even reached D’Mall in Boracay’s Station 2.
Boracay floods frequently, not only from rainfall but also due to businesses dumping sewage into drains intended for rainwater only.
The government wants to combat the flooding by building an “outfall,” according to Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda. He told CNN Philippines that the Department of Public Works and Highways is building this outfall that would drain the island of water in the event of a typhoon. However, it would take about three years for these to be completed.
Last year, President Duterte ordered the six-month closure of the island after describing it as a “cesspool” due to overdevelopment and breaches of environmental regulations.
The island’s rehabilitation is ongoing. Earlier this month, we reported that President Duterte approved a 25 billion-peso plan for the ongoing rehabilitation of Boracay.
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